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Republicans pushing plan to lower taxes

By Howard Fischer

Phoenix, AZ – Republican legislators are pushing a plan to balance the budget
that actually would lower taxes in future years.

The proposal would give Gov. Jan Brewer the vote she wants on a
temporary hike in the state sales tax. That could raise up to $1
billion a year for three years, taxes that would be imposed on
consumers. But the package also includes $400 million a year in
corporate and individual income tax cuts and permanent repeal of
the state property tax, regardless of how voters decide the sales
tax issue. Senate President Bob Burns said the plan makes sense,
even with the state currently in a $3 billion deficit.

"It all comes around the old economic development theory that if
we can get our corporate income tax more competitive, we can
attract businesses in here who will provide high-paying jobs,
broaden the tax base, and we'll end up with more money."

Anyway, Burns said, it will be the voters deciding on the sales
tax increase. Democrats like Linda Lopez panned the plan, at
least in part because it would further cut state spending by
about $1 billion.

"It is despicable what this proposal will do to our state, to the
citizens who live here. There is is no regards for the citizens
of this state, for the vulnerable people who live in our state,
for education or for the economic future of this state."

GOP leaders are lining up the votes with the goal of adopting the
plan as early as Wednesday.